FERRY TO COLONIA, URAGUAY
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
322Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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MONDAY NOVEMBER 21
WEATHER: Fine, overcast, high 20's
JOURNEY:Buenos Aires to Colonia, Uraguay- 50 kms
The distance between Buenos Aires and Colonia del Sacramento in Uraguay is 50 kms by ferry and we had heard that this small historic town is beautiful and a relaxing way to spend a day. Argentians take the day trip or spend time here on vacation and today we piled onto the 3/4 full ferry for the 90 minute trip. We bought the tickets online $60 return, on the Colonia Express leaving at 6.30 am.
Neither our companions, Jazz and Lee or we had done any research on the town, expecting a tourist office at the ferry terminal to supply maps and points of interest and honestly we had just not found the time to read up before visiting. The research that you do as a traveller really pays off in saving time for the real task of exploring your destinations- we witnessed how much time needs to be spent online preparing for the next destination, buying tickets, arranging accommodation etc.
But fortunately, we located a ''tourist office'' with next to useless staff but with a supply of maps and tourist guides and off we went.
Apparently Spain, Portugal and Britain fought over this tiny country; it was Portugal that founded Colonia in 1680. Later Uraguay was taken over by Brazil but in 1828 it gained independence and relied on beef and wool economically. It seems that politicall and economically the people of Uraguay have had a rough and rocky past but not much of that is evident to us as we walked Colonia.
Entering the old town of cobbled streets and historic buildings through the 1745 arch/gate-we made a beeline to a cafe for traditional Uraguayan breakfast ''media lunés'' and ''café con leché'' - croissants and coffee with milk.
The town is guarded along the river by thick stone walls.
We found our way to the Street of Sighs with its old buildings that now held art, antiques and souvenirs for tourists.
The old lighthouse was open and we paid a small fee to wind our way to the look out at the top for a view of the well maintained town. Today was a quiet day in Colonia and we decided to hang out here rather than make a trek to the new part of town.
Lunch, after checking out several options was at Viejo Barrio, chosen because it was much cheaper than the others and its menu adverised fresh pasta and gnocchi; there is a traditon of gnocchi here -on the 29th of the month going back to the times when pay day was the last day of the month and money was short and gnocchi was cheap to make...or so the story goes.
The service was great and the gnocchi was delicious!!!
After lunch we continued our walking and made it to the old port
The pretty sycamore trees provided shade as the day warmed up and we marvelled at the lovely stone and stucco archtecture still in good condition today. Being Monday, most of the museums and galleries were closed but not to worry because the whole of Colonia was itself a museum.
At the end of a relaxed and interesting day, the four of us agreed that the vist to Uraguay is a good side trip and a quiet contrast to the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires. It would of course be great to see more of this little country but for now a little taste was delicious.
And then it was back to Buenos Aires with just one day left of this part of our journey!!!